Dissertation/These Online

Infoling 9.16 (2016)
Autor/ra:Perez Cortes, Silvia
Fecha de lectura o defensa:23 de March de 2016
Título de la tesis:Acquiring obligatory and variable mood selection. Spanish Heritage Speakers and L2 Learners' Performance in Desideratives and Reported Speech Contexts
Director/a de la tesis:Liliana Sánchez
University/College:Rutgers University
Department:Department of Spanish and Portuguese
Country:Estados Unidos
Tesis completa en el Archivo de Infoling: http://www.infoling.org/repository/ID/198

Descripción de la tesisThis dissertation examines Spanish heritage speakers (HS) and second language (L2) learners’ acquisition of obligatory and variable mood selection in two complement clauses: desideratives and reported speech contexts. Previous studies have reported this area of language to be particularly troublesome for early and late Spanish/English bilinguals, especially in variable contexts (Borgonovo, Bruhn de Garavito & Prévost, 2008; Collentine, 1993; Iverson, Kempchinsky & Rothman, 2008; Montrul, 2007, 2009, 2011; Pascual y Cabo, Lingwall and Rothman, 2012; Silva-Corvalán, 1994; Torres, 1989; inter alia). These investigations, however, have focused on structures that belonged to different modalities, comparing obligatory selection in deontic predicates with alternations in epistemic and epistemological contexts. This study interviewed 137 participants (HS: N=69; L2ers: N=68) with different proficiency levels using four experimental tasks: a truth-value judgment, two production tasks (written and oral), and an acceptability judgment task. Results show that mastery of mood selection is dependent on the interplay between participants’ level of proficiency, age of onset and frequency of Spanish use. Highly proficient bilinguals tended to be more accurate in their performance, while those with lower command of the language displayed more variability. Differences in age of exposure and frequency of activation appeared at intermediate levels of proficiency, where HS outperformed their L2 peers in the interpretation and production of subjunctive in reported speech contexts. It is argued that earlier onset of acquisition and active use of Spanish favored the attainment of these structures. In general, the results suggest that the potential effects of vulnerability expected to emerge in mood alternations, appear to be minimized when propositional modality is controlled for. This dissertation contributes to the fields of L2 and heritage language acquisition in two ways. First, the comparison of these groups reveals contrasts at the interpretive and productive level, furthering our understanding on how differences in age of onset and exposure modulate bilinguals’ linguistic outcomes. Second, the analysis of mood within deontic predicates also suggest that the source of morphological variability in these constructions is not the obligatoriness of the selection (as argued by Montrul, 2007, 2009) but the type of modality expressed by the predicate under evaluation.
Subject Area(s):Adquisición del español como lengua primera (L1), Español como lengua extranjera (ELE), Español como segunda lengua (EL2), Morfología, Otras especialidades, Sintaxis

Table of ContentsABSTRACT

1.1. Introductory remarks
1.2. The research problem
1.3. The research proposal
1.4. Research questions and hypotheses
1.5. Organization of the dissertation

2.1. Introduction
2.2. Mood and modality
2.2.1. Semantic proposals for a unified characterization of mood
2.2.2. Syntactic proposals to analyze mood selection Deontic predicates Mood and modality in English
2.3. Theoretical predictions for the acquisition of subjunctive
2.4. General conclusions

3.1. Introduction
3.2. The effects of age, proficiency, frequency of language use and interface vulnerability in bilingual morphological acquisition
3.3. Early Language Acquisition
3.3.1 Spanish Monolingual children
3.3.2 Spanish/English Bilingual children
3.3.3. Spanish Heritage speakers Effects of decreased activation and input in heritage grammars
3.4. Late Language Acquisition: L2 Spanish learners
3.5. General conclusions

4.1. Introduction
4.2. Research questions and hypotheses
4.3. Participants
4.3.1. Demographic information
4.3.2. Language Proficiency
4.4. Materials and procedure
4.4.1. Task 1: Acceptability Judgment Task (AJT)
4.4.2. Task 2: Truth-value Judgment Task (TVJT)
4.4.3. Task 3: Elicited Production Task
4.4.4. Task 4: Spontaneous Elicited Production
4.5. Summary of the chapter

5.1. Introduction
5.2. Task 1: Acceptability Judgment Task (AJT)
5.2.1. Judging the acceptability of reported assertions and directives
5.2.2. Interim summary: AJT of reported directives and assertions
5.2.3. Grammatical preferences in obligatory mood selection: the case of desideratives
5.2.4. Assessing intensional and polarity subjunctive through acceptability judgments
5.2.5. General discussion of Task 1
5.3. Task 2: Truth-Value Judgment Task (TVJT)
5.3.1. Interpreting reported assertions and directives
5.3.2. Reporting assertions and commands: Interim summary
5.3.3. SDR effects in desiderative constructions
5.3.4. General discussion of Task 2
5.4. Task 3: Picture-based Elicited Production Task
5.4.1. Variable mood selection: reporting assertions and directives Divergent patterns in the report of assertions and
5.4.2. Production of assertions and commands: Interim summary
5.4.3. Co-reference and obligatory mood selection in desideratives Divergent patterns in the production of co-reference and SDR in desideratives
5.4.4. Comparing the production of polarity and intensional subjunctive
5.4.5. General discussion of Task 3
5.5. Task 4: Spontaneous Elicited Production
5.5.1. General discussion of Task 4
5.6. Obligatory and variable mood selection across tasks: concluding remarks

6.1. Introduction
6.2. Mood selection and interface vulnerability
6.3. Acquiring obligatory and variable mood selection
6.3.1. Mood alternations in reported speech contexts
6.3.2. Selecting subjunctive in disjoint-reference desideratives
6.3.3. Obviation in desideratives: the effects of structural complexity on obligatory mood selection
6.4. The effects of proficiency in the acquisition of obligatory and variable mood selection
6.5. The role of age of onset of bilingualism in the acquisition of mood
6.6. Frequency of language activation effects in mood selection
6.6.1. Language activation in HS: Extending Putnam & Sánchez (2013)
6.7. Concluding remarks

7.1. Introduction
7.2. Summary of major findings and implications for the study of mood
7.3. Limitations of the study
7.4. Suggestions for future research and concluding remarks

Appendix 1 Consent Form (English)
Appendix 2 Language Background Questionnaire
Appendix 3 DELE test
Appendix 4 Demographic information obtained from HS
Appendix 5 Demographic information obtained from L2ers
Appendix 6 Demographic information obtained from Controls
Appendix 7 Self-reported levels of proficiency from HS
Appendix 8 Self-reported levels of proficiency from L2ers
Appendix 9 Self-reported levels of proficiency from Controls
Appendix 10 Stimuli from Acceptability Judgment Task
Appendix 11 Target sentences in the Truth-Value Judgment
Appendix 12 Stimuli from Elicited Production Task

Número de págs.:329

Fecha de publicación en Infoling:10 de September de 2016
Silvia Perez-Cortes
Rutgers University